As the popularity of pickleball grows nationally, the sport has become a regular pastime on Cortes Island with the resurgence of team sports this winter.

The school gym is booked four nights a week for adult sports, with pickleball offered twice weekly. If the weather is nice, pickleball moves to the outdoor courts at the Cortes Island School as well.

Alex Hornby is a regular pickleballer at the courts and shared his early impressions of the game with CKTZ.

“My first thing I heard about it was [that it was] a sport that old people at nudist clubs play.”

Hornby was encouraged to play pickleball on Cortes Island and now he loves the sport. Hornby described it the way many other players do: “addictive.” His partner, Darshan Stevens, said one of the reasons it’s so easy to get into is that people improve quickly.

“It’s a sport that is very rewarding when you first start playing it…you can do fairly well at it fairly quickly. And people just get hooked and then they wanna play more,” Stevens said.

Aside from being fun, Stevens highlights the health benefits of the sport. 

“Pickleball has led me down a whole road of getting really into fitness in general. So it’s been like a gateway drug for me …and really good for my mental health to get into fitness. So yeah, pickleball has been really good for me and my family.”

Drop-in pickleball is offered for free Tuesday and Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. at the Cortes Island school gym. 

To hear more about the pickleball scene, listen to the CKTZ News Update below: